Womble Bond Dickinson earns Planet Mark certification after slashing its carbon emissions

December 20, 2018

Measures such as investing in LED lights, clearly labelling recycling bins and reducing corporate travel by using Skype have helped transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) reduce its carbon emissions by 16% this year.

The figure is more than three times the target set by the firm, which has its second-largest UK office in Bristol, at the end of 2017.

WBD is now trialing electric company vans and continuing to cut down on paper use to maintain a focus on managing its environmental impact.

The achievement has emerged as it completes its first year of carbon footprint reporting with The Planet Mark, an internationally recognised sustainability certification programme that recognises commitment to continuous improvement in sustainability.

The results have earned WBD, which has eight UK offices, certification from The Planet Mark. This year also marked 10 years since WBD began working with The Legal Sustainability Alliance (LSA), an inclusive movement of law firms, to manage its environmental impacts.

In its 2018 report with the LSA, WBD showed a reduction of 16% in carbon emissions and 14% per employee, representing the fourth consecutive reduction in carbon emissions.

WBD UK chair Simon Richardson said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded the Planet Mark certification on the back of our firm-wide efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

“We take our responsible business responsibilities very seriously and care deeply about the impact of our actions on our people, our local community and the environment.

“We are committed to enhancing our environmental performance and finding sustainable ways to improve our environmental management. We’re involved in a range of initiatives to build on our progress year on year and find sustainable ways to improve our green credentials.

“We are also working collaboratively with other organisations as well as our suppliers to take positive action on climate change by measuring, reducing and reporting on our carbon footprint and take every opportunity to align our environmental strategies, encouraging third parties to adopt environmentally sustainable practices.”

The Planet Mark founder Steve Malkin added: “We are delighted that Womble Bond Dickinson has achieved its first certification to The Planet Mark and, in doing so, committed to many new practices that will reduce their carbon emissions.

“They’ve made outstanding progress and are clearly excited about the future and what they can do next. Womble Bond Dickinson epitomises how you can make positive contributions to society and the environment and enjoy the process. We’re delighted to have them onboard.”

To help WBD optimise its sustainability performance, The Planet Mark team has made several recommendations, such as carrying out regular energy audits and the collation of supplier evidence to support green tariff purchases.

WBD has also stepped up its collection of accurate information to help identify where wastage occurs in the business and where efficiencies can be made.

As well as achieving The Planet Mark certification, WBD was recently awarded the ISO14001 accreditation, an international standard for environmental management.

The firm is also an ambassador for the Right Waste, Right Place campaign – a national initiative aimed at raising awareness of the duty of care for waste among UK businesses.

WBD has more than 400 partners and 1,000 lawyers based across 18 cities in the US and eight in the UK.

Pictured, from left: WBD head of facilities management Martin Hall; WBD UK chair Simon Richardson; WBD facilities manager Stacey Hocking, and The Planet Mark founder Steve Malkin


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